Startups often create products, processes and ideas that have never existed before. Like larger companies, startups must hire people who fit the bill according to culture, skill sets and experience. But unlike larger companies, startups need dynamic workers with malleable skill sets who are ready to grow quickly.
As a technology-fueled commercial real estate brokerage, my company TheSquareFoot works at the intersection of one fast-changing industry (tech) and one traditional industry (commercial real estate).
While our mission is to make the front-end user experience of looking for an office space hassle-free, behind closed doors we have to grapple with the difficulties that come with hiring for a startup and an industry that’s budding, dynamic and multidisciplinary.
We learned the hard way that even if someone is a great salesman and broker, they may not know how to use the tech that goes along with it. (We had one guy who’d never heard of Slack, Google Docs or Snapchat, and wasn’t willing to learn.)
Based on our mistakes, here are five important hiring tips.
1. Prioritize people over experience
It’s easy enough to find either a fiery millennial with tech skills or a charismatic and experienced employee, but finding someone who is both makes the hiring process more difficult. This goes for any hybrid position. But, if you give leeway for certain learnable factors, then you will find the right people for your company culture who just need some time to grow and learn.